The Gainsborough Heritage Centre holds original newspapers and the Centre's research library holds a range of files with particular topics that include a range of different newspaper articles. The Centre's library also has a people's database to assist visitors to easily access and search the files for particular people or businesses or stories.
Over many years volunteers have spent a very long time identifying and preserving local information and news, mainly from the Gainsborough News (which became the Gainsborough Standard after 1976). The process continues. Apart from newspaper articles showing personal events such as obituaries and marriages, the research facility at the Centre houses numerous ‘People’ and similar folders or collections which contain items and information relative to many Gainsborough businesses, individuals or those with a local connection. That material may often contain biographical data or other notable information of an interesting nature and appertaining to local events or places, formal appointments, achievements, occupations or similar matters. The Centre holds a lot of information appertaining to Rose Brothers and Marshall's.
At the end of 2015 the Centre commenced the process of inputting the above material to a dedicated database 'People's Database' so that records may be maintained electronically in the future, cross-referenced to the hard copy material in various physical folders, archives and collections. Volunteers have already entered records representing thousands of people. This essential work has made the search exercise as made the library resources more accessible. Keeping abreast of current material and the entering of historic items will take a long time – years in fact. However, the effort will be worth it and is already proving to be the case. The system allows for a search for a specific named individual, by surname or by reference to a word or words such as an occupation (ie teacher or farmer) or any other parameters eg: ‘school’, ‘public house', ‘Roses’, ‘Newsums’, ‘church’, ‘club’ and many more.
Newspapers are an invaluable resource when tracing your family tree as they reveal the daily lives and news story at a particular time. Local newspapers include announcements of births, deaths and marriages as well as articles relating to famous visitors to the town and in the area, advertisements of different periods showing the fashions of the time and news stories.
The Gainsborough News gives context of national and local events that took place including how people locally dealt with significant tragic events like the First World War and the Second World War. The Gainsborough News details how the Town changed during the demolition of the yards, pubs and slums. It can show how the spread of epidemics affected the town within the context of national events.